passengers being served by flight attendants during flight
Leah Berenson
Leah Berenson
May 24, 2024 ·  3 min read

Why You Should Reach for Ginger Ale Next Time You’re on a Flight

Ginger Ale was once an incredibly popular beverage for a number of reasons, from soothing an upset stomach to successfully mixing with alcohol. In contrast, today, the soda is one of the least popular, beat out by sweeter options like Mountain Dew or Coca-Cola. But passengers on planes are encouraged to give Ginger Ale a second thought while flying.

Go for Sweet

Ginger ale with fresh lime and thyme garnish
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Ginger Ale was first created in Ireland and England in the 1840s before making its way to North America. The drink was so popular that it led to the founding of the iconic Canada Dry brand. A brand still selling beverages today. While they, and others, have created various flavors over the years, there were two original options—a dry, crisp flavor or golden and sweet. Interestingly, the drier option is the more popular profile. However, the sweeter Ginger Ale option might be more enjoyable during a flight.

Ginger Ale Appeals to Taste Buds

A child's mouth focus the tongue and papilla.
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While planes are designed to accommodate the altitude change, preventing any “physiological” harm to passengers, there are some things that can’t be controlled. Apparently, one of those things is our taste buds. It turns out that a pressurized cabin can also dull senses like taste and smell and has drier air. In fact, according to WHO, the air in a pressurized cabin is incredibly thin and dry. “About as thin and dry as it is on top of a mountain, around 6,000 to 8,000 feet above sea level.” Therefore, opting for a golden Ginger Ale can combat the loss of flavor leaving a dry and sharp flavor behind. Similarly, salty beverages like tomato juice can also leave behind a refreshing flavor and feeling.

Ginger Ale Provides Comfort

Ginger-lemon drink in a bottle with a straw. Selection of the ingredients of ginger cocktail or tea: ginger root, lemon, honey. On white table. Top View,copy space
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The rhizome, the root part of a flowering plant, is what is known as ginger root or just ginger. It’s safe for consumption and has been used for healing in homeopathy for generations. Regardless of whether or not it has actual healing properties remains to be seen. But there is one clear benefit from ingesting the root. It helps to settle an upset stomach. Moreover, the carbonation in Ginger Ale works to do the same. As a result, Ginger Ale may be a more soothing beverage option than other soft drinks. Note that not all ginger-flavored beverages contain ginger. So, if this is a priority, be sure to check the brand that’s being served.

Bubbles Dissipate Faster

Soda water pouring, top view on white background
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In contrast to beverages like diet soft drinks, Ginger Ale has a lower surface tension and viscosity, meaning the carbonation is less “stable”. As a result, the carbonation will take less time to fizzle out, and the flight attendant will be able to fill your cup faster. Furthermore, it will be ready to drink sooner.

Ginger Ale Facts

Large moonshine still set up hidden in an over grown area of the forest with glass jars and jugs on the ground closeup view
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As mentioned, some brands don’t use ginger in their recipe. For example, in 2018, Canada Dry faced a lawsuit because it was discovered that their recipe for Ginger Ale contained no real ginger. Canada Dry was created in Ontario, Canada, in 1904. Ginger Ale was incredibly popular during prohibition because bootleggers found it paired well with hard liquors, making it easier to drink. Lastly, despite the popularity that once elevated the beverage, it’s not even on the top 10 list of popular sodas in the U.S. today.

Ginger Ale has undergone several transformations since its early days. Although it’s not as popular as it once was, it’s a versatile drink that’s easy to adapt. In fact, many people have created their own homemade recipes, adding things like citrus, herbs, or edible flowers to make healthy and aesthetically pleasing beverages.

Read More: This is Why Most Ginger Ales Won’t Actually Settle Your Stomach


  1. Cabin Pressurization: How It Works and Why It’s Important for Airplanes.” Monroe Aerospace. June 22, 2020.
  2. The bubbly chemistry behind carbonated beverages.” Phys.Org. Michael W. Crowder August 14, 2023.
  3. Why You Should Always Order Ginger Ale on a Flight.Travel and Leisure. Andrea Romano. November 1, 2022.